Former racer John Batchelor dies

Former British Touring Car Championship driver and team boss John Batchelor has died aged 51 following an illness

Former racer John Batchelor dies

Batchelor, who successfully built up a janitorial cleaning supplies business in Lancashire, began racing in the Super Road Saloons Championship in 1999 and won the title in his debut season.

A move into the Ford Fiesta Championship brought him infamy as he changed his name to John Top Gear by deed poll in order to attract backing from the BBC television show.

He changed his name again the following year to John B&Q after securing sponsorship from the DIY retail giant. This enabled him to enter his squad in the short-lived BTCC Production class in 2001.

Batchelor finished 22nd in the championship that year in a Honda Accord, although his career was curtailed when he injured three vertebrae in a crash at Oulton Park the following season.

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